Summer is for making things! It’s the season for completing projects around the house, painting a landscape, or snapping photos while you take a long walk through nature. Because of this, I considered myself very lucky to be the Art Assistant for It’s a WRAP!, School on Wheels’ month long summer enrichment program at Salvation Army Barton Center. For five weeks, I had the pleasure of sculpting, folding, drawing, sketching, and putting glitter ON EVERYTHING with a great group of students ranging in age from 6 to 13.

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Using the broad theme of “travel” we used our imaginations to journey to Asia and Africa. We learned about languages, geographies, people, and animals. We made clay elephants to represent both Africa and Asia. China was the inspiration for our rice paper kites and we made stamps to print on bright, colorful fabrics inspired by traditional garb in places like Kenya and Nigeria. But our exploration of the world didn’t just begin and end with art class. The full evening of It’s a Wrap! programming also included reading and theatre workshops, both also clued into the theme.

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Students worked on a short play about an African Prince who asked waaaaay too many questions and in small one-on-one sessions with tutors, students read about young people just like them in places like Uganda, China, and Bangladesh. Art, theatre, and reading – sometimes simply subjects in school turned into dynamic points of discovery in the summertime at Barton Center.

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For me, it was amazing to see students solve problems during the art workshop, master new words in the reading group, and learn how to PROJECT and E-NUN-CI-ATE during theatre. These students may not remember me or how to say “hello” in Chinese, but I hope they can look back on this time fondly and remember the supportive adults and the fact that they enjoyed making art.

tocarra resizedThis is a guest post by Tocarra Mallard, our It’s a WRAP! (Writing, Reading, Art, and Performance) Summer Art Assistant. We’re so glad she was able to join our team and help our students create beautiful art this summer!